April 22, 2024

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Responsibilities of IT Professionals

Author : DAOUDI Samir | Context : MSc Software Engineering – Professional issues in computing

As the use of the information growth at a very high speed, our dependence on this information and the tools allowing us access quickly and efficiently to this data became a real need.

People are widely impacted by the information. We trust what we see, listen and read. All the flow of data we consume directly or indirectly manipulates our life significantly. So the responsibility of IT professional is a real challenge, I think it’s bigger than journalists, officers or judges responsibilities’. I base this comparison simply on the fact that the core of these functions which is laws and rules that govern our life use directly technology as support to edit, check and apply these rules. When we talk about responsibility, “it means all the things for which someone is considered to be accountable” [1]. As stated by Giannis, the responsibilities of an IT professional can be summarized in four categories:

  1. Role responsibility is the duty or the obligation of an individual. Computer professional is responsible to provide computer systems according to the standards and regulations.
  2. Causal responsibility, according to the causal principle, each event has a cause, so the link is always there between a cause and its effect. In case of any issue, a causal chain can be re- produced to determine the exact cause (which can be human or non-human) for the issue.
  3. Blameworthiness is the defense of individual; it refers also to the causal responsibility. If an airman uses an approved computer that crashes and causes a catastrophe, the cause is the machine and not the person using it.
  4. Liability involves legal questions. If a person is legally liable of a situation, so the person is responsible even if he is not blameworthiness. [1]

Resuming the responsibility, I personally think that they have to provide solutions (software or hardware) according to international norms and standards and having all the criteria (Security, durability, confidentiality of data …etc.). In addition to the conditions in the solutions provided by the computer professionals, they should be considered responsible of the consequences caused by such solutions. Another type of responsibility of the computer professionals to other members of their profession is to collaborate honestly in providing solutions. The code reuse principal that appeared with the OOP new generation allowed developers to integrate in their projects code (source or compiled) of other developers. And thus, when sharing code, developers are responsible to document it, and providing the exact code that does the described function without any embedded unwanted (malicious) code that could open a door for hackers causing a lot of damages.

As presented in the costs of hacking, the 1st thing if that the person who owns the hacked computers loses some control over the information and the hackers get it. The 2nd consequence is the possible deletions or corruption of the information that may subsequently cause significant harm [2].


[1]: Giannis Stamatellos ,“Computer Ethics: A Global Perspective”, 2007. ISBN: 978-443-5000.
[2]: G. Michael Schneider, Judith L. Gersting, Keith Mille “Invitation to Computer Science 5th edition”, 2009. ISBN:978-0-324-78859-4.